Jada Pinkett Smith was 'shocked' by Will Smith's Oscar slap as they 'had not called each other husband or wife for years'

13 October 2023, 23:06

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated for seven years
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated for seven years. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Jada Pinkett Smith says she was "stunned" by Will Smith's Oscar slap, as the couple 'had not called each other husband or wife for years'.

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It comes after Jada revealed that she and Will have been secretly separated for seven years.

Speaking after comedian Chris Rock joked about Jada's alopecia at the Oscar's last year, prompting a furious reaction from Smith, the actress said she was really "shocked".

During the incident, Smith shouted 'Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth' before slapping Rock onstage.

Jada told Hoda Kotb on the Today show: "First of all, I'm really shocked because, mind you, I'm not there.

"We haven't called each other husband and wife in a long time. I'm like, what is going on right now?"

Will Smith hits presenter Chris Rock
Will Smith hits presenter Chris Rock. Picture: Alamy

In a bombshell interview this week, Collateral star, 52, said she and Smith, who got married in 1997, were still trying to "figure out" the future of their relationship.

Their relationship was thrust into the global spotlight at last year's Oscars, when Smith, 55, stormed onto the stage and slapped host Chris Rock for a perceived slight against his wife.

But rumours have swirled about the state of their marriage for several years, after Pinkett Smith revealed an "entanglement" she had with a younger man in an interview with her husband in 2020.

She told People magazine that she and Smith had not made any decisions about ending or continuing their marriage yet.

Read more: 'I was out of line': Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock for 'embarrassing' Oscars slap

Read more: Will Smith banned from Academy events for 10 years after Oscars Chris Rock slap

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated for seven years
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated for seven years. Picture: Getty

"We've been doing some really heavy-duty work together," she said. "We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like."

She added that Willow and Jaden, her children with Smith, as well as Trey, his son from a previous relationship, had helped her find happiness.

'My children, they're little gurus. They've taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance," she said.

"They love every part of me. The level of love, unconditional love that they have for me and their dad. 

"And it's one thing to want to be the person that gives that unconditional love. And then there's, to be the recipient of that."

Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Picture: Getty

She added that she had taken ayahuasca, a psychoactive drug, as had Smith and the children, when they were already adults.

Pinkett Smith also details in an upcoming book her struggle with depression and anxiety when she turned 40.

"On paper it all looked grand - I had the beautiful family, the superstar husband, the lavish lifestyle, fame and fortune," she writes, according to an excerpt obtained by People. 

But she says that in reality she had "fallen into despair and wanted to be on this earth less and less."

She revealed to People that she had even contemplated taking her own life.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Picture: Getty

Pinkett Smith also addressed her husband's assault on comedian Rock last year.

"I thought, ‘This is a skit.’ " Like many people watching the incident unfold on live TV, she didn’t believe it was real at first. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ ”

"It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realised it wasn’t a skit.”

Smith, who won Best Actor for his role in King Richard, struck Rock after he made a joke about Pinkett Smith's hair loss.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air star appeared to laugh at the jibe before making his way on stage.

He was seen shouting "Keep my wife's name out of your f****** mouth", visibly and audibly furious, after the incident.

Smith later apologised wrote on his Instagram page, saying he was "a work in progress."

Pinkett Smith says in her upcoming autobiography that she had been diagnosed with "complex trauma and PTSD and dissociation".

She writes: "'Don't be afraid', I tell myself. 'You are in peaceful, beautiful Ojai. Why are you so scared?' she wrote. 'Because, I answer right back, what if THIS actually kills me?'"

She adds: "Three months earlier, in the wake of my fortieth birthday, my biggest worry was Well, what if it DOESN'T?"

Watch slow-motion clip of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

Pinkett Smith recalls: "For two decades, I had been putting on a good face, going with the flow, telling everyone I was okay. Yet underneath, bouts of depression and overwhelming hopelessness had smoldered until they turned into raging hellfire in my broken heart.

"Unwelcome feelings - of not deserving love - made it harder to understand the disconnect between the so-called perfect life I had achieved and the well of loss I carried with me. Therapy helped up to a point. It got me to 40! But to what end?"

She adds: "I would later be diagnosed and informed that I suffer from complex trauma with PTSD and dissociation, but without this guidepost, I was a chronic mess with no fix, no possibility to heal.

Pinkett Smith says: "Every morning, waking up was like walking the plank of doom - could I make it to four p.m.? If I could, I had survived the day."

She adds: "I always wanted to sleep, but I never slept well. My children could put a smile on my face and were my only motivation to keep me going, but more and more, I could feel myself losing my grip of connection to them."

She had "followed the rules...the rules we're told to follow," she writes. "You work hard, make sacrifices for those you love. The rules tell you: Be a doting mother and a doting wife, do the work required, and life turns into paradise. NOPE. A loving relationship, harmony, peace...that happiness had yet to be delivered."

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